Downloading Browsers -PUA toolbars


Userlevel 7
I have seen a number of tickets in our support system of people being unable to download browsers. In fact its due to to Webroot blocking 3rd party toolbar bundled versions of the browsers. Always make sure you are downloading directly from the Vendor and not a 3rd party. Be aware that the top results in a search page can be paid for advertisments and thus may not be the vendor. 
 
In the image below I have done a search using well known search provider. Note that in this case the first result was directly from the vendor (Mozilla) but as you start to go down the search results its gets a bit unclear.
 
To the left of the screen shot I am showing the open file -security warning alert on two versions of Firefox that I have downloaded. Note the top left one has a Publisher: Mozilla Corportation, the bottom one 100Blogs SL is a toolbar wrapped version.The File with the Mozilla Corporation was downloaded from the vendors website (the 1st link in the screenshot), the second one was from a 3rd party that contained a number of toolbars.
 
Please note that Publisher isnt always 100% accurate (we do see lots of spoofed digitial vendors etc) its still a useful piece of information. I would advise when installing software to use the custom installation option so you can untick any "unwanted" extra`s that the program may want to try and install.
 
I would advise using a modern secure browser with our extension installed (Adblock is also useful to install) as you can see one of the sites has a red X beside it indicating it may not be safe to visit.
 


 
If you are ever unsure dont run the file and submit a support ticket or post on the community. We can verify a file very quickly and if possible we can point you in the right direction for the correct download.
 
Thanks,
Roy

11 replies

Userlevel 7
Hello there :)  I learn something new every day.... of course at this point that is the easy part.  The hard part is remembering tomorrow what I learned today LOL!!!
 
As for finding the data, that can depend on what version of windows.  In my case, with Windows 7, click Start, Control Panel, System.  That's it.
 
I do not know at what rank members can begin using the Signature settings, but I do not think it is enabled immediatly.  You may need to wait just a little while before it will allow you to create one.  One of the Mods or Admins here can provide you with better details on that.
 
 
Userlevel 4
Badge +12
To: DavidP1970
Thanks...I learned something today.
In order to put some data into my Signature, I have to find out what that data is. Where do I find the specs of this infernal laptop I am using?
Userlevel 7
Hello cpmadave!  Welcome to the Webroot Community!
 
PUA is an acronym for Potentially Unwanted Software.
 
This simply means that while it is not a virus or other malware, it may not be something you want on your computer.  Very often you may encounter those browser toolbars that you didnt really want, and installed themselves as you were installing something you want like Adobe Reader and it doesnt really seem to be a problem?
 
Well....they CAN be a problem in that they can slow down your browser, your computer, amd serve you with endless pop-ups.
 
It isnt malicious, just very annoying and sometimes almost impossible to get rid of.
 
That is a PUA, and some AV's find them, some dont.  Webroot finds some, but not all.  The easier one is to remove the less likely it is that Webroot will detect it: one of the criteria for PUA detection is how hard it is to remove.
 
As for our specs at the bottom, and the images, and links here on mine, that is all contained in my Signature, and is available in the Settings for the Community Account.  (No, we do not type it all out for every message....that would drive me insane!  :-)  )
Userlevel 4
Badge +12
OK all you guys...I'm very new at this and agree almost totally with what you have said. But....what in the blazes is PUA??
 
Also: I notice that you show the specs of your hardware/software.. 1- What specs should I show? 2- Where is a good source? 3- Is there a way to store them so it is simple to copy them rather thaan type them out each time 4-What if I have more than one PC (desktop and laptop)?
 
Thanks for all your wisdom, this seems to be a very good and sensible source for guys like me.
Userlevel 7
Thanks Roy!
All installers should always be downloaded directly from the official sources - this slogan should be one of the pillars of the present security and user privacy.The growing number of PUAs becomes a real nightmare today :(
It's not so bad when they, despite the fact of being attached to most of the user input installers, keep asking for permission to install.
Unfortunately, a large part of them simply don't do this and you find out about their existence, when they are already installed onboard:@
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
Great advice @ !  It should also be noted that Google Ads are totally ok with these people advertising in the search results too, so you aren't safe just because you've clicked on an ad link.  
That, in a nutshell, is probably the #1 source of 'misdirects' to downloads and companies with malicious intent IMHO.  Not only will the presence of paid ads for software downloads at the top of the results have a good chance of leading the unwary astray, but aldo be very suspicious to say the least when searching for Support options.  There are several companies that place such ads attempting to misdirect those seeking official assistance from software vednors (Imcluding Webroot and other AV vendors) into contacting them instead.
 
The end result can be unexpected charges to a crwdit card, vastly overpriced support (when the official support would have been free of charge), to questionable tactics and downloads placed onto the victims comouter during a remote session.
 
I see complaints of this tactic luring the unprepared almost daily at work 😞
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Great advice @ !  It should also be noted that Google Ads are totally ok with these people advertising in the search results too, so you aren't safe just because you've clicked on an ad link.  
Userlevel 7
Badge +62
😉 Yes @ , I learned from past mistakes with a PUA that I posted for Mozilla wasn't from Firefox Mozilla web site. I will always go to the venders webpage for sure. Your information is also considerate or informative and Thanks for explaining and testing that CNET/Download.com. I was lucky to have the Webroot and the Forum help me out of my so called jam! Now using Firefox without a hitch since @ lead me to correct website.
 
 
Thanks Team!:D
Userlevel 7
The thing is that for some people, it is second nature to always check the source of the download to make sure you are getting the 'real deal'.
 
The problem is that it is not common sense to do so.  It only becomes second nature after having been bitten by a bad download from a 3rd party.  
 
I used to use CNET/Download.com pretty much all the time.  That was before the era of the PUA.  Now I download ONLY directly from the software vendor.  I do not know how they are now, but I gave up on them years ago after having been inundated with PUA, adware, crapware coming in from downloads hosted by them.
 
EDIT
 
After posting this reply, I decided to check on them again.  Here is what I found:

 
"The Download.com Installer securely delivers software from Download.com's servers to your computer. During this process, the Download.com Installer may offer other free applications provided by our partners. All offers are optional: You are not required to install any additional applications to receive the software you selected. For more information, please refer to our FAQ."
 
In other words, expect a ton of PUA's and other crapware if using them.
 
/EDIT
Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Great information Roy! Thanks for posting Firefox browser and pics to illustrate for all of us!
Userlevel 7
Great Post Roy!  

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